Tag Archives: Steely Dan

Review 26: Mirrors on the ceiling…


Hotel California
The Eagles
Nominated by me

I’m playing my joker. For a raft of reasons, I’ve not managed to listen to anything new today, so you get my favourite, Hotel California by The Eagles.

I don’t where to start with why I love this record. It’s not cool. But it was very big and it’s clever, with brilliant guitar riffs and lyrics that tell stories so well. And I love that.

It’s rock, it’s country, and it’s in my key. I can sing it from start to finish, and I did when my dad played it in the car.

I can see the cassette now, with his handwriting on the label (it was Steely Dan on the other side). We had such fun listening to it, all together.

Like when he used to break in time to Bat out of Hell, or did head-banging to Rockin’ all Over the World at Christmas, with a tinsel bandana around his bald head. And my sister and me arm waving in put-me-up beds to I am Sailing, and Mull of Kintyre, too excited to go to sleep.

Good? Significant? Nostalgic? MOR? ‘Classic’ rock? It was number one in the USA for nearly five months at the start of 1977, replacing Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder – now I know that’s a cool and credible album. You decide. I know I sing along loudly and get lost in a curious California I invented in my head as a kid.

I could take you through my favourite tracks, and list the lyrics, but maybe some of you already know it pretty well. If you haven’t listened recently, dust it off and give it a go.

One lyric made me smile, sitting in the courtyard this morning…

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave…’

Remind you of anywhere?

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Review 24: Foot-tapping thrill

Steely_Dan_Cant_Buy_A Thrill

Can’t Buy a Thrill
Steely Dan
Nominated by Cecilia Smart

What a surprise. I thought I didn’t like Steely Dan but I was tapping my foot all the way home listening to Can’t Buy a Thrill.

It was a longer journey than usual, because I was coming home from the Soho Walk In Centre after getting a burn checked and dressed properly (see below for burns advice). It turned out my brush with a red-hot loaf tin on Sunday hadn’t done too much damage after all. What price home-baked bread?

Back to the record, a strong debut released in 1972. It includes some tracks I really recognised – Rolling in the Years, Do it Again, and Midnight Cruiser – and some interesting ones I didn’t know, like Kings – ‘We seen the last of Good King Richard’ – about a drug dealer who pretended he was a royal.

It’s very catchy, almost poppy, and then a little bit mysterious and complex when you start to listen to the lyrics.

From Change of the Guard:
‘If you listen you can hear it
It’s the laughter in the street
It’s the motion in the music
And the fire beneath your feet ‘

Maybe I’ve grown into them and their jazz-rock-funk sound. I was always amused by the source of the band’s name though – I’ll let you find that out for yourselves.

Burns advice: Always seek medical advice for burns, whatever size, according to the lovely nurse I saw. It’s hard to tell how serious they are and self-treatment can leave you feeling sore for longer, or worse. See a nurse and they’ll put on a special dressing, which can stay in place for 7 days.

And I would recommend the Soho Walk In Centre – it’s close, friendly and the wait was just an hour.

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